“The Shining” is a masterful, suspenseful, and at times even scary movie. The story line, the acting, the special effects, and all of the other elements of the film make this a truly fantastic film. With a script that was previously written by Stephen King, The Shining star Jack Nicholson comes to the screen in his first major role since the death of his wife, Annette Benning, in 1984.
In addition to bringing a completely new character (and a brand new sense of perspective on the genre) to the screen in his first film, Jack Nicholson brings a new sense of darkness and dread to his role as The Shining’s Johnglas. He not only comes across as a much tougher, scarier version of his usual humorous self, but also as a much more intense and disturbing presence on the screen. But what makes “The Shining” so scary is also what makes it so great. One of the scariest movies of all time, the film simply has a level of energy that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. When you put the best actors together and pair them with top notch, creative screenplay and superb direction, you have something truly exceptional. Combine that with a great, creative comedy script and great visual design, and you have a horror film that no one will ever forget.
One of the most memorable scenes from the movie is when the hotel clerk, played by Basil Rathman, comes rushing in the middle of the night to find the lodgekeeper, played by John Cleese, passed out on the sidewalk with a note informing him that he’s been killed by a serial killer with a checkered past, who has been dubbed “The Shining”. Before he can get to the hotel, however, a car horn blows behind him, startling him, and summoning him to the elevator, he finds himself being pushed toward a dark room where two men in suits have just killed him. In an effort to escape, he flails his arms and misses hitting the button to open the elevator. The men in suits then proceed to slam the glass together and lock him inside. Suspended upside down, he’s now stuck in this room with no way out.
Another of the greatest thrills in this classic horror film is the gory climax. Not only does it end with a bang, it goes on to leave the audience completely breathless. Even if they’ve been through a lot of scary movies before, many are still in awe at what they call “the most realistic death scene” (which is hard to top, even for horror movies). No matter how much we try, we just can’t get the same kind of laughs from some of the more famed “scary movie monsters” as we can from the blood thirsty hotel clerk and the blood thirsty killer.
Another reason this movie is still so popular is the absolutely hilarious supporting cast. Did you know, for example, that Michael Myers was originally cast as the lead role of “The Shape” a slasher movie that came out a few years later? He played the role of “The Shape” in the very first “Scream” movie, and is responsible for starting the series of Michael Myers Halloween costumes.
With a series of five sequels to the originals, “The Shape” has easily become one of the most popular horror films of all time. Its popularity hasn’t diminished, in fact, in the last few years. Fans of this franchise love to re-watch the old ones, and find new favorites with each new release. In fact, I consider the new “Scream” movies to be some of the best of the franchise…